tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC October 26, 2010 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT
what's your sense there as a resident? >> barbara boxer is going to take it she is up about 8, i know it is a tighter race, i think there is no way someone that outsourced that many jobs and is proud of it is going to be able to take california. >> stephanie, good to have you with us tonight. our telephone sur acres have i asked, do you think rand paul should publicly denounce the violence of his supporters? 97% of you say yes, 3% say no. that is the ed show. i'm ed schultz a program note, lauren valle, a victim of rand paul's goon supporter will join keith olbermann at 8 p.m. eastern. "hardball" is next. see you tomorrow night. don't mess with paul. let's play "hardball." good evening.
i'm chris matthews in washington. leading off tonight, kentucky head stomping. what's with the luca brasi stuff? last night, before the rand paul/jack conway senate debate in kentucky, a woman from the progressive group moveon.org was set upon by rand paul supporters, including one who stomped on her head. is this any way to run a campaign? meanwhile, we'll look at the final four, the four big races tonight that wildetermine who controls the u.s. senate next year. plus, what to look for as the returns come in next tuesday night so we'll know early on all of you watching who has got the jump on winning the house and then winning the senate. our first viewers guide to election night. next, the air wars. >> need 1,000 laser systems put in the sky and we need it right now. >> john raese's ideas are crazy. >> the great political ads in the last week of the campaign, including what may be a couple
of knockout blows. and texting while debating. did florida's democratic candidate for governor alex sink did nailed for a rule infraction in last night's debate? she'll be here to answer that question. why this race is so critical to the 2012 presidential election. also, what do the grandson and daughter of two republican presidts think of the gop? david and julie nixon eisenhower are here tonight. and why mike bloomberg thinks term limits are good for other people, not mike. that's in the sideshow. all that is ahead. first, the latest polls. let's check the scoreboard. let's start in west virginia. joe manchin is leading republican john raese by six. the governor is coming back strong. colorado, michael bennet and ken buck. i feel so much for these guys. this is always tied, this one. this is a nailbiter from hell. and in pennsylvania, movement now toward pat toomey in that tracking poll out of allentown. he's leading joe sestak by eight. 48% to 40%.
but the reuter/ipsis poll, nothing going on, they're tied 46% up. we'll continue to check the scoreboard leading up to election day. for more on the fight for congress, chuck todd is nbc news chief white house correspondent, political director and "the washington post" columnist eugene robinson. he is a political analyst and pulitzer prize winner forever. here is video from outside the debate before it happened where a moveon.org supporter out in kentucky in lexington tried to approach rand paul, he's the candidate, with a mocking award about corporate influence and republicans. let's listen. >> hey, hey, hey! >> get the cops. >> get the police. get the police. get the police. get the police.
>> no, no, no. come on. >> wow. i don't know what to make of that, but it reminds me of the '30s in another country. chuck todd? >> look -- >> it's street brawling. >> it's getting out of hand. you can't there's no defense. it seemed so -- he did it with such -- it wasn't -- i can't even -- sometimes you say, oh, it's the spur of the moment. that didn't look like spur of the moment. >> no, she was already under control. get the cops. she's got a sign. >> here is rand paul, the candidate, whose worker did that luca brasi behavior there. here is rand paul on fox this morning talking about that event. let's listen. >> i will tell you when we arrived, there was enormous passion on both sides. it really was something where you walk into a daze of lights flashing, people yelling and
screaming, bumping up, and there was a bit of a crowd control problem. and i don't want anybody though to be involved in things that aren't civil. i think this should always be about the issues, and it is an unusual situation to have so many people so passionate on both sides jockeying back and forth, and it wasn't something that i liked or anybody liked about that situation. so i hope in the future, it's going to be better. >> he's got the lead out there. i'm looking at the number right now, chuck. he's up 48.5%, about six points. i love those numbers. look at the graph there, if you can keep showing that graph. it shows they're parallel in their movement. both going up a bit. they're not unpopular candidates, these two guys. well, they're both going towards 50%. i've seen less popular candidates. >> that's true. what's going on in illinois is a race to the bottom. i feel like both are polarized. the left sees rand paul as this symbol, a terrible symbol of the tea party. the tea party sees rand paul as
sort of the first guy that broke through, broke the back of the establishment in mitch mcconnell's home state. so, there's some truth to what rand paul said about the passion that is there. it is funny, this senate race, it is funny, this senate race, i don't think -- it's not even one of the six most competitive senate races, yet this one has this passion on the conservative and liberal side of the blogosphere that no other race embodies. >> let's start, gene, with the ones we think are closest now. we picked four, final four, not arbitrarily. we looked at the ones within one point. here illinois, pollsters trend line shows it at 41% each. that's giannoulias we had on in chicago last week and also mark kirk. and kirk seems to be hanging up there, too. they're both going up a bit. how do you pick these things? >> i don't know how you pick this one. i think it's still an uphill climb for giannoulias just because of the atmosphere, president obama is going there. that's one of the places he's
going to go to, you know, in kind of the last days of the campaign to try to get giannoulias over the top. >> and it's his hometown. >> that's right. . if he doesn't win it is a big slap in the face to him. >> does he have traction to the president -- >> i don't know. we'll find out. i talked to david axelrod about this and he started saying you have to remember -- basically, he pinned it on blagojevich that it created this atmosphere where somebody else in the white house described it to me, look, there's political fatigue in the state. blagojevich really ruined it. but you know what? reagan in '82, remember, he got trounced everywhere, except california. you pulled out people over senator jerry brown. it was -- as ed rawlins will tell you that was at least it told us something, that we hadn't lost everything. >> i don't buy that that was ronald reagan. i think it was race. i think a lot of white voters didn't want to vote for -- >> don't forget, they won both races. it gave them confidence th they still --
>> let's look at nevada. the one we have been talking about forever. this one just drives you crazy because i don't know, the unpopularity of these people. angle has moved up to 48%. she's moving up. reid still is at 46.4%. isn't that reid's problem? he can't get much above 46%. >> i had somebody tell me he's not going to get 47%. and so the issue is -- >> has he ever? >> -- how does he make 46% a winning number? >> he has to get people to vote third party. >> third party, none of the above. whatever it is. >> he has to hope people vote for the more tea party. >> it's such a -- >> the tea party designation. neither of the above. >> we heard a great story last night where you come out with a weird third party candidate and you get everybody to vote for that person because you know they're not going to vote for your guy. >> right. >> it does work, but it's hard to make work. >> okay. let's go to colorado. this is a great race. i have to tell you, i don't ever say who i'm going to vote for here. i can't vote in colorado. i am really impressed by michael
bennet's campaign. appointed, worked on the school board, a good public servant. he's a clean government guy. i think the guy has run a really good race out there in a relatively conservative environment, to say the least, colorado. there he is. i'd hate to see that guy lose. it's within a point, 47%/46% basically. is buck taking this away or can the good guy win? >> my hunch on this one is buck wins. i think colorado -- >> you say environment trumps everything? >> i think it's very susceptible. if there's any sort of republican wavelette, it becomes a wave in colorado. >> you know with michael bennet, this sentiment i hear in washington, i hear it from a lot of people in democratic circles about this affection that everybody has for michael bennet in the democratic party.
the president is one of those. do you know what it reminds me of? do you remember the one person who lost in 1994 where democrats were more depressed about, harris wofford. there was -- michael bennet is like they lose too. >> wafford he was the guy that got john f. kennedy to call coretta king to express his sympathy. martin luther king may have been dragged off and lynched, for all we know, at that moment there is a reason why harris wafford. there is a reason why he's -- >> no doubt. i'm just saying you can run a good race and all -- >> here is one we like to watch because this is really sort of a battle not between liberal and conservative. it's a battle between who is toughest and strongest in west virginia. let's take a look -- i'm sorry. let's go to west virginia. here is a guy, joe manchin, who is no liberal. i know i'm helping him every time i say this, he's no liberal. neither is west virginia that liberal. look at this race. they both came from somewhere, and they are ending up in the same spot with him now a little blue line, it's going up a bit. >> for the first time in a while. >> for the first time. and he's saying i'm no barack obama.
i'm not for cap and trade. i'm not for gun control. >> i want to repeal half of health care reform. >> and he looks sort of like joe theismann. >> he does have that football player sort of look. >> heisman trophy winner. >> he's not a heisman trophy winner. his name was theismann and he changed his name because -- >> chuck knows all the trivia because -- >> because these notre dame folks all said, hey, you can win the heisman if you change your name. >> let's go to charlie cook. he was being interviewed today by michael gersten, a former speechwriter for george w. bush. there's a chance, he said, a month ago there was a chance it could have gone from gigantic to titanic. that means the republicans win, but the possibility of republican gains in the 60s or 70s has declined in the last month. that's what charlie cook said today. he's saying there's not going to be a blowout. my belief is he's wrong. i think charlie is always cautious. he never wants to stick his neck
out and make a wild prediction. i think it is going to be up around 60 or 70. your thoughts? >> i think charlie has been very aggressive this year. he was among the first to say -- >> let's get to reality. is charlie right -- >> i think he might be. crested at a high level, meaning that -- >> well, he says 60 or 70 is not on the board anymore. >> right, he's saying like 52, something like that. >> let me translate the numbers. if the republicans win -- if the republicans win 53% of the national vote, the way that would translate into the house is a 50-seat gain. so, 53/47 in the national vote. look, if it got up to 54 or 55, you're hitting closer to 60, but i tell you, there is such a -- there's sort of four groups of house races, the first 30 are the easy ones for the republicans, the overperformance districts. the next 15 are these one that is are all right now 45/45 but a lot of people believe will all go one way. the next 15 are tough. >> we promised the viewer a way
to understand next tuesday night, a week from now, how to watch this. i think where charlie cook is dead right. if he says if the democrats hold connecticut and west virginia in those senate races, if manchin wins, blumenthal wins, that means the rest of the evening, the republicans have to run the table, as we say in pool, they have to win all the way from washington across the country. they have to win everything. >> including illinois. including colorado. >> they have to take all ten possibles left because they have lost the first two. is that the way you read it? >> absolutely. west virginia is a big linchpin here. >> if you're watching and a progressive or a democrat, you're in a pretty good mood if you win both of those to start the evening because you know the republicans probably won't win. if you're a republican, you know you have a good shot if you win one of those, right? >> that's right. you win west virginia, your margin of error -- >> what time of night do you think we'll get west virginia? connecticut very early, right? >> connecticut will be early. look, west virginia, we haven't had a close race in that state
in a long time. my guess is we'll have a good idea -- look, if we haven't called the race by 9:00, there's some problems. >> 9:00 we'll have a good idea? you might be in a good mood if you're a democrat by 9:00 if you're watching msnbc, which i think you will be watching if you're a democrat. just a guess. just a guess. >> is that right? >> i want to know about laser beams on sharks. >> there's some wacky candidates out there. chuck todd, eugene robinson, thank you for joining us. coming up, the newest and sharpest political ad was a week to go. candidates are going for the knockout. these ads are getting better and they are, in many cases, connecting. these are the sunday punches. you're watching "hardball," only on msnbc. ♪ ♪ [ growls ] ♪ ♪
[ polar bear grunting ] [ growls ] [ male announcer ] introducing the 100% electric nissan leaf. innovation for the planet. innovation for all. john mccain is running for re-election but he's also spending much of his time campaigning for other candidates, including senate candidates in those close races we've been talking about. he stumped for carly fiorina in
california, dino rossi up in the state of washington. today, he's in west virginia. here is mccain today. >> when i heard him say, when i heard john say that he was more conservative than tea partiers, that's my man. >> wow. contrast mccain's busy campaign schedule with that of his former running mate, sarah palin. she makes news wherever she goes, but she's staying in the sidelines in some of those key states. a possible reminder it's mccain, not palin, who has more sway with swing voters in november. "hardball," back after this. youy soups have made me, rich and hearty. that's funny. i'm hearty because of your juicy steak, your potatoes... you're really, rich and happy. [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. [ man ] if it was simply about money, every bank loan would be a guarantee of success. at ge capital, loaning money is the start of the relationship, not the end. i work with polaris every day. at ge capital, we succeed only when they do.
hosts "face to face" on kbmv. thanks for joining us. i want you to join me in looking at some of these great ads. i think they have saved the best to last. here is sharron angle using the issue of immigration to take on harry reid. let's listen. >> i'm sharron angle and i approve this message. >> waves of illegal aliens streaming across our borders, forces families to live in fear. what's harry reid doing about it? voting to give them social security benefits, tax breaks, and college tuition. voting against declaring english or national language twice and even siding with obama and the president of mexico to block arizona's tough new immigration law. harry reid, it's clear whose side he's on and it's not yours. >> well, i think that's aimed at anglos, right? just guessing, john. what do you think? >> well, i mean, chris, she's been using this kind of stuff now for months, calling harry reid the illegal alien's best friend. they've gotten more and more nasty. some of the hispanic community is calling these ads racist. you know about the controversy with the last one where they had to pull it down because of that getty image. david vitter used it, too.
listen, there are two groups out here now being affected, hispanics, who harry reid hopes to drive to the polls by using these kinds of ads against her, and independents. and listen, chris, this is probably helping her with independents. there's still a lot of people left to vote here. early voting has started, but this is a wedge issue with independents and this whole us versus them really affects them, i think. >> i think it's pretty clear language -- when you use terms, at least back east here, if you use terms like illegal alien, you can say illegal worker, when you match up illegal and alien and double up in your language, you show what side you're on of the whole immigration issue. if you say undocumented workers, you show your yourself on the liberal side. the language means everything. let's look at the west virginia senate race. here is joe manchin. he's the democratic governor fighting for the senate seat. here is his ad against the wealthy john raese. >> i'm joe manchin and i approve this message. >> i have already been defeated three times. that's a pretty good message for
west virginia, i think. i'm going to tell you this, i don't agree with minimum wage. i'm not in the business of not providing jobs. i'm in the business of making money. we don't need the department of education. we need 1,000 laser systems put in the sky and we need it right now. >> john raese's ideas are crazy. >> why am i running? do i need this? >> you know, of all the things i think the voters want, i can't think of strategic defense, putting lasers in the sky as one of their primary goals. by the way, aren't you at least supposed to give lip service to the idea that capitalism creates jobs? you're not supposed to say i'm in the business not of providing jobs but making money. aren't you supposed to present, at least the way meg whitman does, i'm out there creating thousands of jobs in the silicon valley, as if that was my goal not to make money. but this guy says i'm not in it to hire anybody, i'm in it to make money. it doesn't seem like that's a
campaign plea. >> well, what's interesting about that though, chris, is the use of the word "crazy." you know it is going on in a lot of these races. it's certainly happening here, too, where these democrats, a lot of democrats at least don't want to run on their records and a lot of them are running away from the president now, and so the only way they can win is to call their opponents crazy. and guess what? some of them are. some of sharron angle's, for instance, if i can go back quickly, some of the things she said have been called crazy by harry reid and others. he has to marginalize her. so, you know, that's a classic technique that's being used, to call somebody crazy. you may not like me, may not like me, but look out for that other person. they're really whacked. >> you know what reagan's response to that was? i'll admit i'm irresponsible when they admit they're responsible, which i thought that was one of the great comebacks from the right. i don't think it will work for some people. it might work with her, with your candidate out there on the republican side. let's look at jerry brown. people are rave being this ad because it apparently is one of
those brilliant ads that knocks the block off the other side. let's listen to jerry brown's closer. >> you know, 30 years ago, anything was possible in this state. >> as governor, he cut waste, got rid of the mansion and the limo, budgets were balanced, $4 billion in tax cuts, world-class schools and universities, clean energy promoted, 1.9 million new jobs created. california was working. >> i mean, it's why i came to california so many years ago. >> jerry brown, the knowledge and know-how to get california working again. >> i don't know what that last part was, but 30 years ago, anything was possible in the state. and whoever wrote that ad for poor meg whitman, she's not poor, but didn't remember that jerry brown was governor 30 years ago. how do you make -- doesn't anybody have a fact checker with these people? >> that one seemed to be a basic thing, too, the good old days of jerry brown. that is really a huge mistake
and, of course, he's been winning there anyhow, chris, but to make a mistake like that. and this is another thing that's happening a lot, i think you have noticed it, too, being able to pull out someone's own words and then use them against them in an ad to really make a strong comeback. i think that's what jerry brown has done there. >> i like the way he took meg whitman's lines and showed that they were basically lip-syncing what arnold schwarzenegger had said for years. all the same lines. again using tape. let's go to the illinois governors race. pat quinn is not doing well out there. he's the guy who succeeded to the office when blagojevich left, not exactly a great position to be in. and he's looking kind of weak now, and here is one of those ads i think you're talking about, the desperation ads where a democratic incumbent has to, you know, throw the kitchen sink at the other person to have a chance. this is throwing cats and dogs at the opponent. let's listen.
>> too busy watching "glee" to keep up with the governor's missed here is what you missed. february, the republican party is split. close. first thing he did, proposed a bill to kill cats and dogs in gas chambers. >> why did you do that? >> well, you know, i owned a pet all my life. i have -- i -- excuse me. >> well, there you have it. let me go to jean cummings. she has joined us late. jean has been following this campaign and i have been reading her every day in politico. thanks for joining us. we're talking about ads. you know, john just mentioned that some of these democrats can't defend their records so they think of something really screwy that the challenger has done, like apparently this thing of how to dispose, if you will, of animals. i hate this whole discussion because i love animals, but what is this about? is this going to have any impact? are people going to believe the front-running candidate for governor is the enemy of animals? >> well, you know, he might get some peta votes out of the whole thing. when the economy is the major issue for voters, you know, as john said, they're trying to
change the issue and distract voters. there are some issues that might be or arguments might be compelling enough to distract voters for a bit, but i don't think animal treatment is going to be one of those. >> yeah. i think, john, you're right. why -- do you think that's a good leading indicator if somebody is failing when they go to the weird rather than the relevant? >> well, listen, what's going on now? a lot of these democrats voted or supported obama back when he was really popular, right? and they were thrilled to do so. and now, they're running away from this stimulus and from health care reform, except one place, chris, here. harry reid has not run away from obama, even though "saturday night live" did that spoof. that spoof was not funny because harry reid has not run away from obama. he's about the only democrat in the country who has not, but he's doing -- he is doing the other technique right. he's trying to say you may not be thrilled, the economy here in nevada is the worst in the country, but you can't turn it over to this person. by the way, i don't know about that pet thing. people love their pets, as you
mentioned, chris. i think people will be very, very upset. i think that's a real voting block pollsters have to start looking at. >> well, guess who is on the board of the international fund for animal welfare? me. i know exactly what you're talking about. >> i figured that. >> we like to save elephants and other animals. >> thank you john rolston. i think you're a straight reporter. and jean cummings, i love reading you every day in politico. up next, we have seen a lot of chutzpah from politicians over the year, but new york player mike bloomberg takes the cake. i like mike, but what a position he's taken on term limits. they're good for other people. that's his attitude. you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. [ male announcer ] you are a business pro.
princess of the powerpoint. your core competency... is competency. and you rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle. and go. you can even take a full-size or above. and still pay the mid-size price. i'm getting an upgrade. [ male announcer ] indeed, business pro.
a big loss next tuesday. what went wrong? in a radio interview, she blamed bill halter. >> when somebody spends $21 million of negative advertising against you, you've got to spend an awful lot of time and energy winning back people's approval and winning back people's trust. and that's exactly what i've done. >> do you think you'd be even with bozeman now if not for that tough primary? >> oh, yeah. >> really? >> yeah, i do. i believe i would. >> primary challenges usually cause problems for incumbents in the general election. the challenger can always argue he or she would have won in november. next, doize say, nottize do. mayor mike bloomberg pushed the city council to end that two-term limit so he run for a third term. catch this, he said yesterday he will now vote for a ballot initiative to set the term back to two terms to restore the very law that was changed just for him. well, bloomberg staffers said his boss' situation two years
ago was extraordinary. well, could the extraordinary circumstances back then be that mike bloomberg simply wanted a third term? finally, a spoiler alert out in colorado. remember the republican candidate for governor, the guy who said the denver bike share program there's actually a united nations conspiracy. one of the reasons maes is polling below hickenlooper and even third party candidate tancredo. he's the candidate for governor. the significance, if maes doesn't get 10% of the vote in november, the republican party will be relegated to minor party candidates. that means, republican party candidates won't be there at the top of the ballot in 2012 or the 2014 elections. one winner in all this, tancredo's american constitution party, which is poised to gain major party status for the next two elections, thanks to tancredo.
now for tonight's "big number." the 2010 cycle continues to smash fund-raising records. catch this, house and senate candidates this year are on track to spend a total, this is really bothersome to people, $2 billion. $2 billion, "b," billion. that's about $4 million per congressional race. $2 billion they're spending to get us to vote for them. that's tonight's -- well, it's "money talks big number." up next, florida's senate race has overshadowed the other big race in the sunshine state, the governor's race might actually be the one to watch next tuesday. republicans are accusing alex sink, the democratic candidate for governor, of cheating in last night's debate. sink joins us next to explain right here what happened and why she hasn't been able to put rick scott, who has got his huge problems, away. you're watching "hardball," only on msnbc. dad put me in time out for a very minor dinner table infraction.
and while i'm up here he's helping himself to my unguarded kraft macaroni and cheese. have you had enough? [ male announcer ] kraft macaroni and cheese. you know you love it. a body at rest tends to stay at rest... while a body in motion tends to stay in motion. staying active can actually ease arthritis symptoms. but if you have arthritis, staying active can be difficult. prescription celebrex can help relieve arthritis pain so your body can stay in motion. because just one 200mg celebrex a day can provide 24 hour relief for many with arthritis pain and inflammation. plus, in clinical studies, celebrex is proven to improve daily physical function so moving is easier. and celebrex is not a narcotic. when it comes to relieving your arthritis pain, you and your doctor need to balance the benefits with the risks. all prescription nsaids, including celebrex, may increase the chance of heart attack or stroke, which can lead to death. this chance increases if you have heart disease or risk factors such as high blood pressure
or when nsaids are taken for long periods. nsaids, including celebrex, increase the chance of serious skin or allergic reactions or stomach and intestine problems, such as bleeding and ulcers, which can occur without warning and may cause death. patients also taking aspirin and the elderly are at increased risk for stomach bleeding and ulcers. do not take celebrex if you've had an asthma attack, hives, or other allergies to aspirin, nsaids or sulfonamides. get help right away if you have swelling of the face or throat, or trouble breathing. tell your doctor about your medical history and find an arthritis treatment that works for you. ask your doctor about celebrex. and, go to celebrex.com to learn more about how you can move toward relief. celebrex. for a body in motion.
trees and power lineses ripped roofs across the region, causing at least one death. president obama voted by absentee ballot in the illinois senate and governor's races. after a two-week review, new jersey governor chris christie is sticking by his decision to kill a proposed multibillion rail tunnel under the hudson river. now back to "hardball." back to "hardball." the florida governor's debate last night between democrat alex sink and republican rick scott got nasty, but an incident that happened during the commercial break is what's dominating the headlines. let's watch this together. a cnn.com video we are watching. a makeup artist, the blonde hair, showed an electronic message to alex sink, the democratic nominee.
it turned out to be one from one of her aides, her campaign aides. scott was quick to point out that the opponent, his opponent, had violated the rules when the debate resumed. let's listen to him now. >> first, alex, you say you always follow the rules. the rule was no one was supposed to give us the messages during the break and your campaign did with an ipad -- or an ipod. >> well, florida's democratic candidate for governor, alex sink, joins us now. alex sink, i have heard nothing but good things about you in this campaign. i have heard you were a great candidate. you're a great -- you have a great chance to win down there in a very important state for your party, and my question is did you know the rules? did you know you were breaking them? >> well, what happened was, chris, last night that the makeup artist held up her phone and said, i just got this message, i don't know who it's from. i looked at it because, you know, i'm a mom, my instinct is my daughter's in europe. i don't know who this message is from. i glanced at it. i didn't understand even what it was, and i just ignored it. >> fair enough.
in fact, let's look at the message now because the message is badly written, even by the terms of the kind of messages we get on our phones. it comes from an adviser named brian maye, who you have dumped now apparently. the quote, the attorney who won the sykes suit said alex sink did nothing wrong. tell not to let him keep talking about her. that's a strange bit of advice. it's not exactly like feeding you the unemployment rate in florida or anything like that. so, you're arguing you got nothing of any help to you in that debate? >> oh, absolutely not. and besides, i didn't know it was from brian maye at the time. after the debate, i asked what that was all about. he said that he had sent it in, and i said, brian, that was against the rules and i can't have someone who doesn't play by the rules in my campaign, and he has left the campaign. >> what would you have done if you had looked over and seen mr. scott do exactly what you did? in other words, take a call or look at something on a phone? what would you have done at that moment if it was reversed?
we're watching -- suppose he was getting advice from somebody, he was getting a phone message and he was reading it, as you are now reading it carefully. if he were doing that, what would you do to him? honestly, would you have called him on it? >> well, actually, something like that did happen in the very first univision debate. he walked into the debate with three or four pages worth of notes, which was clearly against the agreement, and i didn't make a big deal out of it. >> why is he ahead in the polls? i hear he's a winger. i hear he's got all kinds of problems with his company and a big medicare scandal. he doesn't seem very likable. is this environmental down there? is florida going wacky right? your state has always been somewhat in the middle, politically. it's got so much diversity. what is going on in florida? are they just in a testy mood, they will go for somebody like this? >> well, we haven't had a democratic governor elected in 16 years. and actually what's wacky that's
going on this year is that the two largest law enforcement organizations have endorsed me, the democrat, the first time in more than 20 years that they've endorsed a democrat. and in addition, 16 newspapers have endorsed me. he has not gotten a single editorial endorsement, even from the most conservative newspaper there in jacksonville. so, that's the strange thing that's really happening in florida this year. >> do you think he's crooked? >> well, all i know -- >> based upon his medicare story? i'm talking about his company and his personal dealings. they had to pay a big suit, a couple million bucks. what does that tell you? let me go to the particulars. what does the fact that they got hit with this suit and had to pay damages, what does that tell you about his character and is that an issue or not? you can let it pass. >> his character is an absolute issue. it may be the issue in this campaign. he led a company that was charged with the largest medicare fraud fine in the history of this country and when he went to do a deposition, he took the fifth 75 times. can you imagine having a governor of any state who took the fifth 75 times because he was afraid of incriminating
himself? >> well, you know, it wouldn't work for me. let me ask you about the issues down there. for months, we were obsessed with the bp oil spill. it turned out not as horribly as i thought it would. you didn't like the way, i'm told, the president handled it. >> i absolutely did not. i went over there within days and saw that the federal government had put bp in charge of the claims process. bp is an oil drilling company. they didn't know anything about handling claims, and besides, they're the ones who caused the problem. i thought the administration should have brought in an independent adviser, or fema even should have been brought in, and it took them months before they finally named this ken feinberg, and he hasn't done much of a better job for florida small businesses. it hasn't been a good situation, chris, very disturbing. >> you know, what do you think of charlie crist, the current governor? do you like him?
>> oh, i like him very much. i like him very much. he has a good heart, and he really cares about the people of florida. >> so, i thought he was sort of centrist florida. we'll have david eisenhower and julie nixon on in a minute. and i tell ya, the republican party used to be for positive things and now it's gotten into this wingnut era. it used to be for making social security work better, not for getting rid of it. fair taxes, not getting rid of the irs. better defense, not having laser beams all over the place. it used to be on balance. now it's gone off to this crazy -- where everybody has to have a gun to take down their government if they have to. is that the florida republican party as you see it? is it that far over? >> well, it certainly has gotten much more conservative. in fact, people are predicting that the senate and the house, the legislature, will be the most conservative legislature in the history of this state and that's why many moderate republicans are endorsing me. i have law enforcement officers, sheriffs, newspapers, of course,
and republican-elected officials have just had enough, and that's why they are publicly endorsing me, the democrat, in this race. >> alex sink, thanks so much for joining us. good luck in your race for governor in florida. up next, there's no doubt the republican party is heading hard right. how does it sit with the grandson and the daughter of two republican presidents? julie nixon eisenhower and david eisenhower join us next. this is "hardball" only on msnbc. i do a lot of different kinds of exercise,
but basically, i'm a runner. last year. (oof). i had a bum knee that needed surgery. but it got complicated, because i had an old injury. so i wanted a doctor who had done this before. and unitedhealthcare's database helped me find a surgeon. you know you can't have great legs, if you don't have good knees. we're 78,000 people looking out for 70 million americans. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare.
well, the white house is bracing for big losses in next week's midterms, of course, but here is a poll number they've got to like. president obama's actually in better shape right now at this point in his presidency than ronald reagan was at this point. the national journal pew poll finds 47% of americans want obama to run again in 2012. before the midterms in 1982, only 36% wanted ronald reagan to run again. republicans, by the way, lost only 26 seats in that year. two years later, reagan beat walter mondale in one of the biggest landslides in history. "hardball" will be right back. a. sure, i can download directions for you now. we got it. thank you very much! check it out. i can like, see everything that's going on with the car. here's the gas level. i can check on the oil. i can unlock it from anywhere. i've received a signal there was a crash. some guy just cut me off. i'll get an ambulance to you right away. safely connecting you in ways you never thought possible. onstar. live on.
i'm gonna need my biggest player. a change in the lineup? [ female announcer ] one bottle of ultra dawn has the grease-cleaning power of two of this competing brand. [ sponge ] way to go, kid. [ female announcer ] dawn does more... [ sponge ] so it's not a chore. a tool where people can enter the terms of the refinance offer they got from their mortgage guy, and know instantly if they're getting bamboozled. and i will start after lunch...tomorrow. don't just think about it. introducing lendingtree's free "look before you lock" tool. enter the terms of your existing loan offer to instantly find out how it compares to other offers, areas you may be overpaying, and even negotiation points to help you get a better deal. only at lendingtree. discover customersl are getting five percent cashback bonus at restaurants. it pays to switch, it pays to discover.
welcome back to "hardball." joining me right now is julie nixon eisenhower and david eisenhower. their now book, "going home to glory, a life with dwight d. eisenhower, 1961 to 1969." welcome to you two. it is so great to have you on this show, david and julie. congratulations on the book. it's heartwarming. it's about a nice time in the '60s when general eisenhower went back to being general again and he moved to gettysburg. and i guess i have to ask you some "hardball" questions since you're on this show and there's nothing you won't like to answer, i don't think. one of them is i grew up with the phrase as a pennsylvania -- i was actually from philly, which isn't exactly pennsylvania, it seems like it's a different state sometimes, of an eisenhower republican, meaning somebody who believed
internationalist, in the marshall plan, believed in the u.n., believed in getting along with other countries, believed in all kinds of global realities, wasn't taftite, wasn't old school, wasn't nasty about foreigners. what happened to eisenhower republicans, david eisenhower, you're a historian? >> chris, good to see you again. the label "eisenhower republicans" did not last a lon lincolnian. that is, people are governed best who are governed least. that's in principle. but moderation and sympathy to all points of view. sort of a style of government in that era. and i think what we're trying to do in this book is to rekindle appreciation for it. >> you know, he had a very interesting relationship with lyndon johnson. he was the republican president. he got two terms, got reelected
easily. especially in that second term he was able to work with a democrat congress. profoundly democrat congress. he sort of shared the government. that's something that you don't see too much of. where you said, i want foreign policy. i know what i'm doing. i won the war in europe so leave me alone over there. i'll give you some breaks on budget stuff. things like that. >> that carries over into the period we cover in this book, in fact. lyndon johnson as president and dwight eisenhower is general and they are cooperating during the vietnam era. what you begin to see in the 1960s is that this spirit of bipartisanship begins to fray. and so the ideological lines are being drawn and the notion of moderation is sort of going out of style. but what i think the history of those times and so forth in the past shows that we do have periods, and as a democracy, we can achieve periods in american
history where we feel we're on the right track. where we feel that we have come up with the right direction politically and so forth. and republicans and democrats can experience any sort of bipartisan era of good feeling. we haven't had an era of good feeling. >> i have to get to julie. i remember a president who push for employer mandates. he was going to have every employer give health insurance to his or her employees. that president also believed in environment. he created the environmental protection sxags the council for environmental quality and he ended the dual school system. the segregated school system in the south. he did all these things and his name was dick nixon. i wonder. do you ever think back that your dad was a liberal? >> he was a man of his time for then. when you said that we look back nostalgically in the 1960s, that was an incredibly turbulent
time. building a course for the crescendo of '68. i can't imagine that anyone elected in the year '68, what with riots and over busing and over the war, race, you had to be with the times. you had to move forward. you had to give people hope. and so you had to be progressive. i think it called for it then. >> are you happy with that record of your dad's on those progressive issues? >> really happy that you -- >> more progressive than obama. >> i'm really happy you mentioned ending the segregation of the southern schools. that was one of the great achievements that's not talked about a lot. it was really interesting ing back and doing this book. because so many times when we quote eisenhower in going home to glory, it is like he is speaking to america from the grave. he's, it's just right on point. it's what we need to hear today. >> it's a great book and i'm
reading and i'm going to f it. it is a nice easy read and it brings back a nice nostalgic time when people got along a lot better. thank you julie nixon eisenhower. thank you, david eisenhower. a great professor at penn. when we return, let me say something good about politicians. you can't live with them, you can't live without them. rate boxes working out? fabulous! they gave me this great idea. yea? we mail documents all over the country, so, what if there were priority mail flat rate... envelopes? yes! you could ship to any state... for a low flat rate? yes! a really low flat rate. like $4.90? yes! and it could look like a flat rate box... only flatter? like this? you...me...genius. genius. priority mail flat rate envelopes. just $4.90. only from the postal service. a simpler way to ship. i was living on welfare and supporting a family of four. after i got the job at walmart, things started changing immediately. then i wrote a letter to the food stamp office.
"thank you very much, i don't need your help any more." you know now, i can actually say i bought my home. i knew that the more i dedicated... the harder i worked, the more it was going to benefit my family. this my son, mario and he now works at walmart. i believe mario is following in my footsteps. my name is noemi, and i work at walmart. ♪ i've been looking at the numbers, and i think our campus is spending too much money on printing. i'd like to put you in charge of cutting costs. calm down. i know that it is not your job. what i'm saying... excuse me? alright, fine. no, you don't have to do it. ok? [ male announcer ] notre dame knows it's better for xerox to control its printing costs. so they can focus on winning on and off the field. [ manager ] are you sure i can't talk -- ok, no, i get it. [ male announcer ] with xerox, you're ready for real business.
let me finish with something with the candidates now sweating out this week. there's nothing like having your whole person out there for public inspection. if you run for office, especially in these time, you're pretty much completely exposed. people get to decide what they think of you in toto. your personal. how you come across, what you've done in public office, what you might do. it's like what the author wrote in bonfire of the vanities. it is like being human arcade. pointing up different features of yours. commenting on whatever they don't like about you, leaving their fingerprints. the harsh memory of rejection all over you. what is that it drives men and women to do this? to submit herself to this
manhandling? this being treated like an unwanted pair of gloves. fingered with, tossed back like they were some item on display at the counter at filene's basement. yet every two or four men and increasingly women line up to take abuse, sometime paying huge bags of their own money for the privilege. the simple fact is we need them. we need them on the ballot. need some of them as our leaders. why? because democracy. at least as we practice it is not some exercise where people join zbet as a community, pick leaders. it is all together different. a process of would be leaders picking themselves. getting out there where people can attack them. where their names and reputations can be spat upon or worse. i say all this because i know enough of the world to know that other countries don't have such luck. they could use these politicians. these people who trust democracy enough to take their chances with it themselves don't have people like bill clinton and all those lesser political lights them don't have people who have the stuff to pull themselves